This International Women’s Day, Emily and Fin are donating 15% of our online sales to inspiring local enterprise the Luminary Bakery.
Based in North East London, and fortunately not far from the Emily and Fin studio, the Luminary Bakery is fast becoming a favourite destination for our team.
With freelancers on laptops sitting at the central wooden tables, and parents with young children choosing from the selection of tempting treats, at first glance the Luminary Bakery might look like any other bakery and coffee shop, but this is a bakery with a mission.
Founded by Alice Williams in 2014, the Luminary Bakery was established to offer opportunities to socially and economically disadvantaged women.
The Luminary Bakery offers courses, one-to-one support, work experience or paid employment opportunities to women who are empowered to build up transferable skills and break the cycels of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty, which have held them back in reaching their potential. In inspirational mission we are proud to support.
Graduates from the programmes report a boost in their self esteem, improvement in mental health, and an increased ability to manage money. The overall increase in their skills and knowledge empowers them to take their first steps on their journey to employment or entrepreneurship.
“I was battling depression, had very little motivation and found it difficult to see past the current day. Coming to this course has made me feel less alone. I feel more confident that I can battle the issues I have, I feel supported, loved and listened to. I love that Luminary can be a safe place for us.” - Luminary Graduate
We met up with Kaila Johnson, the Luminary Bakery’s communications officer, over coffee and cake, at the bakery’s Hackney location to find out more.
What sparked the idea for Luminary bakery?
The inspiration came from meeting women in East London who were experiencing gender-based violence, poverty, homelessness and criminal activity. Getting to know local women living through this helped Luminary's founding members see that, although these women were facing complex issues, they were incredibly resilient and had so much potential.
Luminary recognises that the immediate needs have to be met - housing, safety & medication, for example. Once a woman has a level of stability, she needs someone to give her new opportunities for a different future, and a possibility of changing her own life trajectory through gaining financial security. This is where Luminary comes in.
Luminary meets these needs by creating something that would help bridge the gap for women to start building their career by offering training and employment opportunities, with a key aspect of support – community.
Why a bakery?
Baking is a therapeutic activity which builds self confidence and also helps to develop other skills such as determination, precision, time-keeping and even literacy & numeracy skills from following recipes. It's also a trade, which can open doors into a career. Alongside this, it’s very creative, with individual artistry shown in decorating. Each baker develops their own style, you can tell by looking at a finished cake who has created it, which we love.
What is your favourite thing to eat from the bakery?
One of the biggest sellers is our Lemon and Blueberry cake, but some of our team’s personal favourites are our Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies and Cinnamon Swirls with cream cheese icing (of course)!
Which women have inspired you?
We opened our second café and bakery location in Camden in October 2019, which was a huge milestone for us! We wanted every area of the building to reflect hope, even naming some of our offices and teaching rooms after inspiring women, including Malala (Yousafzai) and Rosa (Parks). And our Hackney storefront has a quote on the window from one of our personal favourites, Brene Brown. These are just some of the women that inspire us at Luminary!
What makes the Luminary Bakery different?
Despite the obvious buzz, with orders to fulfill and customers to serve, the atmosphere is always calm and supportive. That’s really special, it’s not like anywhere else I’ve worked.
How can Emily and Fin customers find out more about you and support you?
This International Women’s Day here at Emily and Fin we are echoing the Luminary Bakery’s encouragement to ‘purchase with a purpose' and for the whole day we will donate 15% of everything bought from the Emily and Fin online store to the Luminary Bakery to support them to continue the inspiring work they do.